The RHS Production: Return to the Fairytale Forest

This year’s Christmas production, Return to the Fairytale Forest, has been a whirlwind experience from start to finish! Originally scheduled for December, the RHS Christmas Production has finally had its time to shine on the stage. 

The tradition of the RHS Christmas Production, began life as a Sixth Form pantomime. However, the Christmas production has grown to incorporate students from across the school with this year’s incredible cast ranging from Year 8 to Year 13. All students followed a rigorous and demanding rehearsal schedule, all to prepare for the final performances, which took place on Wednesday 30th and Thursday 31st March, 2022 to delighted members of the RHS community - parents, students and staff alike. 

The final performances were a testament to the student’s incredible resilience in the face of adversity. Not only did the cast have to delay the performances from December to March, they also had to adapt very quickly to last minute changes, when several cast members unfortunately had to drop out due to illness. However, beyond some ropey line reading by Mrs Ohana (who filled in for a narrator), you would never have guessed the issues the students had faced. On stage, the students gave it their all and their talent and enthusiasm shone. Audiences laughed throughout and were delighted by the magic of theatre. 

Of course, it would not be the Christmas production without staff cameos, with Mr Elsby featuring as the wolf; Ms Loizou once again gracing the stage as the genie; Ms Jones making her panto debut as The Muffin Man and Mr Randall showing us all how a professional does it, as Widow Twankey. He even bothered to learn about 30% of his lines!

As always the true highlight of the production was the students, with particular congratulations to Mia and Julian in Year 8, Giselle in Year 10, Libby in Year 11, Rebecca and Cody in Year 12 and Winta in Year 13. All of these students had demanding roles, which saw them on stage for the majority of the play - with Libby and Julian taking on extra roles at the last minute to fill in for those students who sadly couldn’t make the performances. 

Beyond the stage, another group of students who shone were the backstage crew, led by Kyle in Year 12. Their organisation and commitment meant that the finer details of the panto were brought to life. Finally, a special mention to Elliott and Abigail in Year 13, who took on the challenge of sound and lighting. This is the first production to take place in our newly built theatre and it was always our dream to have a fully student led technical team. They did a fantastic job!

Finally, a huge well done to all of the staff who supported the production, especially Mrs Ohana, Mr Randall, Mr Alexander and Ms Nastou for supporting all rehearsals in both direction and musical direction.

Mrs Ohana said: “I am so proud of all of the students who stepped up and joined the pantomime cast this year. I cannot say how much I appreciate all of their hard work and dedication throughout rehearsals. They are a truly talented bunch and they have brought some much needed joy back to the school community!”

Well done to everyone involved for all of their hard work. See you next…later this year!

 

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